Thats enough introduction - on with the plants!
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... out in the garden.
12th August 2012
Hedychium yunnanense L633
Another hot week in the garden. The Cyclamen that flowered last week have produced enough new flowers to make a show and the rabbits seem to have got bored with chewing
them off. It has been too hot to work out there in the middle of the day, but cool evenings and some co-operative wind gave me the chance to burn some of the
Leyland Cypress I felled. I managed to clear the meadow and was feeling very pleased with myself. Pleased enough to cut another half dozen down and mess it all up again.
It all has to be done, I want to get more light into the garden but I need to retain enough to keep the wind out.
It has been a slow year for the Hedychium. Most of the deciduous plants in pots were moved out into the garden. The intention was to plant them all out, but there hasn't been time yet.
They were slow to get moving but they are starting to produce flower spikes now. This was the first, and the flowers caught me by surprise - I hadn't even noticed the flower spike emerging.
This collection by Roy Lancaster in 1980 from the Western Hills, above Kunming in Yunnan was the first modern introduction of the species to cultivation. Some more recent introductions
have been confused with H.spicatum, the distinction between the two species is not always clear cut.
12th August 2012
Fuchsia 'Whiteknights Amethyst'
I keep finding little surprises around the garden, some of them left by the fox but mostly more pleasant. Plants that suffer in the winter are regrowing or clearly dead
and a lot of things that were planted and forgotten are starting to show. For example, I knew I had a few Hypericum planted under the Leylands but suddenly they are in flower
and I can't ignore them. I would show picture, but I have to scratch around for some labels first. I think they are H.x dummeri 'Eastleigh Gold' and H.hookeri but I
need to confirm that. This Fuchsia grows between them. The stems aren't especially hardy and every spring I am convinced it is dead, but it seems to manage a few shoots
from the base and flowers follow. Initially it looks like any other red and purple Fuchsia, but it has large shiny leaves that are quite distinctive (at least for a Fuchsia.
A hybrid between F.magellanica and F.excorticata in a mild winter some stems survive long enough for the bark to excorticate. Not particularly attractive but it's nice to know it can still do it.
Raised by John Wright and registered in 1980 while he was researching the taxonomy of species Fuchsia at the University of Reading. He was especially keen on crossing the hardier South
American species with those from New Zealand and the "Whiteknights " names are the first group he released.
12th August 2012
Another surprise has been the performance of this Strobilanthes. I planted it in the herbaceous border three years ago just to see what would happen and it was interesting
(which is deliberate faint praise). In the first year it grew in a rather untidy leafy way and produced a couple of distorted flowers very late in the year. Winter killed it to the ground
and I was (very slightly) disappointed to see it go. I assumed it was dead, but the following year it came back from below ground. It was grazed to the ground by rabbits
and it didn't flower. By the end of the year I was (very slightly) disappointed that it had survived.
This year it has grown back strongly, the rabbits have left it alone and it has produced flowers already with plenty of buds to come. There was some doubt about the name
(it was called S.atropurpureus when I got it) I checked it out online, and the first thing I found was a Wikipedia entry saying that in habitat in the Himalayas
it only flowers every twelve years. Sounds like nonsense to me but perhaps I will have a long wait before it flowers again.
12th August 2012
The Lysionotus is flowering in the greenhouse. It is perfectly hardy, likes a little shade and some moisture and I am sure it would do well outside but every time I try to
plant it I lose my nerve. I have a couple of forms of the species, this one came from Robin White at Blackthorn Nursery because I thought it was a more compact form than
any other I had seem.. My typical plant straggles along the bench in the greenhouse and then drips off the edge. It is very pretty, but it is quite lax. This one was managing to grow upright
as a young plant and although it had now drooped downwards I still think it is more compact. It also seems to be more floriferous and in bloom a month earlier.
I have rooted a couple of cuttings and that might be enough to get me to plant it out at last.
To find particular groups of plants I grow, click on the genus name in the table above. Click on the "Index" box at the top of the page for the full list.
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